VirtualCareNS transforming access to care for Surettes Island resident

Patty Jensen returned to Surettes Island from Southern Ontario in 2015 to enjoy her retirement dream of buying a property on the water.

She has been on the Need a Family Practice registry since 2018.

“I’m pretty healthy, and I typically only need to see a doctor about once or twice a year,” Patty said.

“I received the invitation to join VirtualCareNS, but I didn’t really do anything with it because I didn’t need anything from the doctor.”

After a few weeks of receiving the invitation, Patty developed a minor health issue and remembered that she could use VirtualCareNS, instead of having to go to the emergency department or drive to another community to access a walk-in clinic.

“VirtualCareNS was so user friendly. I requested an appointment from my computer and within ten minutes I received a response to say that the doctor was on standby. I had the option to talk to them on the phone or through a video call,” Patty said.

Within a few minutes, Patty was able to video chat with the doctor on call.

“The doctor was so thorough. We talked for over 20 minutes and he reviewed every detail of my file and my medications,” Patty said.

“It was just a really fabulous experience,” she recalls. “The doctor was able to send me a bloodwork requisition and refer me to a specialist. I even received follow up from VirtualCareNS to inform me about the status of my bloodwork.”

 A few weeks later, Patty unexpectedly needed to consult a physician about a slightly more serious health concern. This time she felt comfortable knowing that VirtualCareNS was easily accessible to her.

 “This doctor really advocated for me and I felt so validated and comfortable. I’m doing fabulous now, and I don’t know where I would’ve been without that VirtualCareNS doctor.”

Patty says that she is relieved to know she has access to VirtualCareNS, and that she can access a variety of health services, not just prescription refills, from her laptop. She hopes that more Nova Scotians will continue to gain access to the program.

“This is such a wonderful thing. Wow, Nova Scotia Health. I’m impressed!”